HC Deb 05 June 1945 vol 411 cc660-1
19. Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the profits made in the coal industry, as revealed by the ascertainments, for the periods 1936 to 1939 and 1940 to 1944, respectively.

Major Lloyd Georģ

As the answer involves a tabular statement, I will, with the hon. Member's consent, circulate it in the Official Report.

Mr. Shinwell

It has often been declared by the mine owners that their profits are not considerable, and, in fact, that quite the contrary is the case. Where is all the money to be found for re-equipping the mines of this country, on the basis of the Reid Report?

Major Lloyd Georģ

On the basis of the Reid Report, which counts on getting something like double the output per man-shift that is got to-day, that would make it possible to re-equip them.

Mr. Shinwell

I have not asked about revenue on the basis of production; I have asked, in view of the allegation of the mine owners that they are not making large profits, where the money is to be found for capital re-equipment?

Major Lloyd Georģ

I have answered the question. If you can make the proposition sufficiently attractive by reducing the cost of production, it will be possible to get people to invest money.

Mr. Sloan

What would be the cost, on the basis of the Reid Report?

Major Lloyd Georģ

It is very difficult to say that. The Reid Report suggests that until a detailed investigation has been made of the whole project, it is not possible to give a figure.

Mr. Georģe Griffiths

But the Government have accepted the Reid Report.

Major Lloyd Georģ

We have accepted the Reid Report as it is written. It does not give a figure.

Following is the answer:

The credit balances revealed by ascertainments, have been published in detail from time to time; the averages for Great Britain have been as follows:

Tonnage disposed of commercially Average credit balance per ton.
s. d.
1936 212,000,000 0 11¼
1937 224,000,000 1
1938 210,300,000 1 4
1939 214,600,000 1
1940 207,200,000 1 7
1941 189,600,000 1
1942 186,900,000 1 6
1943 178,400,000 1 6
1944 168,300,000 1

The credit balances for 1942 and 1943 were made up to the guaranteed minimum of is. 6d. per ton by payments out of the Coal Charges Account.